Obed Watershed Community Association (OWCA) is a Crossville, TN-based nonprofit with the mission to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the watersheds of the Obed River and its tributaries within Cumberland County, TN through community education, creating opportunities for community research and service projects, and promoting conservation, recreation, and best management practices.  It also supports activities in other nearby watersheds both within Cumberland County and surrounding counties.

 all activities and upcoming Events please continue scrolling!

Run For Clean Water
 5K and Fun Run
Saturday, November 1st
Cumberland Mountain State Park

    Our annual fundraising run will feature both a 5K timed race at 9:00 a.m. and a 1 mile Fun Run at 10:00 a.m.  Since it is the day after Halloween, we are encouraging costumes for the Fun Run.  Walkers are also welcome to participate in the 5K.  All runs start at finish at the Recreation lodge.  To register on-line, click the "Join" button to the left and it will take you to the shopping cart where you can select the race or races you want to run.  To download a registration form, click here.

Highlights from September

Roane State Rain Garden Built!

     Most of the projects OWCA involves itself in involve volunteers and donations that cover a portion of the cost of the project.  The Rain Garden constructed during September completes a multi-step project to both honor the 9/11 victims and our country’s response, and to treat stormwater from the major parking lot on that campus.  The first part of this project was completed in 2013 and used pervious pavers (paving blocks designed with gaps between them to allow water to move down), over a rock-filled trench and storage area to capture rainwater coming off the parking lot, and to move it underground where it can move slowly through the soil. What people see, however, is just an area that looks like a patio with nice landscaping around it.

  This first project did not capture all the water coming off the parking lot.  Some just flowed across the grass on its way to the woods in an area near the pervious pavers.  The goal here was to set up a small area where both the surface water can come and settle out any contaminants before moving into the woods, and to provide another storage area at a level below the storage beneath the pervious pavers for the water there to move to underground.  What you see on the surface is a landscaped area with a lowered central area.

    There were many key participants in this project.  First, Roane State and its maintenance crew enthusiastically supported the project.  The Lawn Rangers and its owner Andy O’Connor, donated their time and equipment to excavate the rain garden area.  Silvara Stone (John Botbyl) donated stone to create the rock storage layer.  Veolia donated mulch made from tree clippings.  OWCA staff Dennis Gregg, Jennifer Howard, and Katie Kuhna and volunteers Brad Fox and Katie Fox sculpted the site and created the growing medium used both in the bottom and along the sides and top of the planted area.  Finally Mrs. Fields recruited members of her biology classes to help with the planting.  Alexis Sonder, Adam Bryant, John Paul Swafford, Andrew Powell, Amanda Beck, Wanda Vaughn, Stephanie Jones, Scott Kirby, Courtney White, Casey Selby, Christina Davis, and Charlie Maxwell and lent a hand and the planting was completed in less than two hours.  Amazing what many hands can do!  Stop by and take a look .  It’s to the left of the Business Incubator building on the east side of the campus.   

Staff Member Angela with a turtle in Centennial ParkStaff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park. 

We’re off to the Races!

     September had its ups and downs but we finished the month with a flurry of activity including the completion of a Rain Garden at Roane State Community College!  Permits for the work on the Little Obed tributary near Genesis Road continued to be delayed, but the end is in sight with the issuance of the permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. October’s going to be a full month, with busy project work combined with our Annual Meeting and capped off with the 5K Run for Clean Water.  We hope you will join us, especially for the Annual Meeting.  This is your organization and it depends on your involvement.

Little Obed Genesis Continues to remove Invasives

      While waiting for the permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and TVA, we spent a few days out at the Little Obed tributary site, clearing invasive plants, primarily privet, with some bush honeysuckle and some multiflora rose.  Along some stretches of the project, the tops of vertical banks will be sloped back to relieve pressure on the banks during high water.  It is important to remove the large invasives just to have good access to the bank, but also so that when the bank is reshaped these invasive species will not regrow.  We’re itching to get the project fully underway.

Thanks to Jennifer Howard, Katie Kuhna, and Katie Heying for helping out.

If you want to help with this project once we get all our permits, contact Dennis at 931-484-9033.

Citizen’s Guide to Clean Water

     Dennis Gregg of OWCA was involved in writing significant portions of the new Citizen’s Guide, created by the Tennessee Environmental Council.  The Guide has a 26 page overview as well as seven appendices with complete detailed information on various aspects of citizen activity, a glossary of terms, and references.  All this information will soon be up on OWCA’s website.


  • Posted Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 AM by Angela Damron
  • Upcoming Activities and Event Dates - October 2014!

     October Activities

    Little Obed Restoration Project

    We’ll be going full speed ahead in October on this restoration project.  There are a number of components to it.  First is removal of invasive plants, something we’ve been working on, but there are more to go.   Second, we’ll be installing some rock structures to help stabilize the level of the bottom of the stream and to deflect water from eroding banks.  Third, we’ll be installing revetments to rebuild banks that have eroded.  Finally, we’ll be working with our partners from J & S Construction to remove some large trees that are collapsing into the stream and then reshape the banks and stabilize them with matting.  This project will take about two months to complete.  We welcome volunteers at any time.  If you just want to come out and help get the trash out of the stream, we could use the help.  Call Dennis if you’re interested - 484-9033.

    Hit the Trails Festival
    Peavine Road, Fairfield Glade
    Saturday, October 4th
    10am to 3pm at Mirror Lake 

    OWCA will again have a booth promoting the various activities that we offer the public. We’ll be talking both about our educational activities, field trips and workshops, as well as volunteer opportunities working on our projects.  Please stop by our booth.


    Bobby Fulcher to Speak at OWCA Annual Meeting
    Tuesday, October 21st 5:00 p.m.
    Common Ground (405 W 4th St)

    Please come to our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 21st. We’ll begin the meeting with election of Board members and officers and recognition awards for special volunteers and organizations that have helped us in the past year. We’ll then turn over the meeting to Bobby Fulcher, the Superintendent of the Cumberland Trails State Park for a update on the Cumberland Trail. This park is a unique venture with lots of challenges as well as a great opportunity to tie together lots of tremendous scenery and habitat. Bobby is always a pleasure to hear from. Food and refreshments will follow. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the direction of your organization.

    Final Rainbarrel Workshop
    Tuesday, October 28, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
    Common Ground (405 W 4th St)

         This is your last chance this season to pick up rain barrels or totes for next year’s growing season.  Rain barrels are $40, $30 for OWCA members.  Totes (275 gallons) are $100.  Call Dennis at 484-9033 to sign up.


    WaterFest Website:  crossvillewaterfest.org Amazon Shopping Link

    Amazon’s program to help non-profits continues all year.  If you’re going to make purchases through Amazon, help OWCA by using the link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/72-1594762


         The OWCA Board includes Brad Fox (president) Bill Morgan (vice-president), Mary Lou Matteson (treasurer), Melissa Brown (secretary), Bruce Anderson, Robbie Safdie, Matt Matteson, and Teresa Payne. 

     OWCA sponsors are CoLinx, Manchester Tank, Stonehaus Winery, Silvara Stone, Crossville Friends Meeting, Veolia Water NA, Tennessee Heart, and Woodmen of the World. 

     OWCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.  Tax deductible contributions can be sent to OWCA, 185 Hood Dr. Crossville, TN 38555.  Dennis Gregg is the Executive Director and can be reached at 484-9033 or 210-3611.

    405 4th St

    185 Hood Dr

    Posted Oct 16, 2014, 6:34 PM by Dennis Gregg
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